In all, the linebacking corps is certainly loaded. Mack is a sure-fire All-American and likely top-10 pick in next April's NFL Draft. He is the rarest of commodities: a "tackling machine" type who also spends an inordinate amount of time behind the line of scrimmage. Mack finished last season with 116.0 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks and eight passes defended. With Mack roaming, fellow linebackers Andrew Ellsworth and Jordan Jones were asked mostly to drop into coverage and react, and they did a reasonably fine job of that. But as good as the linebackers were, it would help if Mack and company didn't have to make as many big plays.
The ESU line got pushed around a bit more than normal last year (58th in Adj. Sack Rate, 72nd in Adj. Line Yards), and recruiting didn't seem to address this deficiency very clearly. Career reserve end Steve Lattimer appears to have dedicated himself in the weight room this past winter -- 240 pounds last fall, he is now listed at 275 -- and it appears that if the Timberwolves' line play is to improve, it will be because he and likely starting tackles Anthony Molter and Ryan Shea improved individually.
— Thought I'd share today's profile of the Eastern State Timberwolves with folks here. I assume most will get the joke. (And yes, consider this your April 1 thread.)